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Recent ZNet

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Alan Maass: Is Marxism Relevant Today?

“Marx is definitely dead for humankind.”   Quotations like this come up all the time when questions of radical political and social change are discussed. They can be found in the corporate media, especially the blowhard punditocracy. They can be found in textbooks and academic journals. And they can be found—actually, more often and with Read more…

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Michael Albert: First Reply To Maass’s Opening Essay

  For purposes of exploration and debate with ISO’s Alan Maass. The whole debate can be found here.   Maass opens his essay by defending Marxism against criticisms "that Karl Marx and Frederick Engels predicted that capitalism would collapse, and it hasn’t; that the fall of the Berlin Wall exposed the failure of Marxism; that class Read more…

Peter Staudenmaier: Rejoining Albert

For purposes of exploration and debate with Parecon’s Michael Albert. See whole debate here. Hi Michael, Thanks for your two thorough responses. I’m going to try to reply to each of them individually, despite the thematic overlap, though I’m sure I’ll miss some important issues. You asked: In reply to: “Are you saying there is no place in Read more…

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Michael Albert: Reply to Staudenmaier 2

For purposes of exploration and debate with Libertarian Municipalism’s Peter Staudenmaier. See whole debate here. Peter, you begin by saying you may have missed some important issues. I hope you won’t mind my saying that I think perhaps you did skip some central matters…and that you also won’t mind my returning to some points raised before, Read more…

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Michael Albert: Albert Conclusion

  For purposes of exploration and debate with ISO’s Alan Maass. The whole debate can be found here.   Our topic in this debate (see the whole exchange here) has been the relevance of Marxism for seeking social change today. My view has been that while Marxism of course contains many powerful and important insights, adhering Read more…

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Alan Maass: Reply to Albert

For purposes of exploration and debate with Michael Albert. The whole debate can be found here.       Up until a decade ago, many discussions and debates on the left inevitably dealt with what was called the "Russia question"–what to say about the society that existed in the ex-USSR, as well as other countries that Read more…

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Michael Albert: Albert Rejoins

  For purposes of exploration and debate with ISO’s Alan Maass. The whole debate can be found here. Alan, I hope you won’t mind that I am going to write this like a letter, and directly to you, conversationally. I think will be a bit less formal and more congenial than referring to Maass, throughout, as Read more…

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Alan Maass: First Reply To Albert’s Opening Essay

    For purposes of exploration and debate with Michael Albert. The whole debate can be found here. I’ll oblige Michael Albert and focus on the points that he says he wants to discuss in this debate–the nature of what he calls the "coordinator class," and his claim that Marxism advocates a "coordinator mode of production." Read more…

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Michael Albert: Marxism: Virtues & Problems

For purposes of exploration and debate with Alan Maass of the International Socialist Organization. The whole debate can be found here. How do we decide whether to employ Marxism? Do its concepts highlight what’s most important and leave out what’s peripheral? Do they reveal the roots of oppression? Do they conceive liberating relationships? Do they Read more…

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Michael Albert: Reply to Staudenmaier

  For purposes of exploration and debate with Libertarian Municipalism’s Peter Staudenmaier. See whole debate here.   Peter, you begin by saying we must turn our attention to the social structures that can make a free society more likely. I agree.   You say social ecology favors "people managing their own lives, consciously and collectively, for Read more…

Peter Staudenmaier: The World We Envision

For purposes of exploration and debate with Parecon’s Michael Albert. See whole debate here.   The world we envision is one of adventure and possibility, of radically new relationships and potential forms of social and individual life that are difficult to imagine, much less describe, from the perspective of the present. Most of what will happen in a Read more…

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Michael Albert: Replying to Social Ecology Forum Post 1

  For purposes of exploration and debate of Libertarian Municipalism. See whole debate here. Hello… I received a post from Michael Caplan, who is engineering/moderating this debate…I’m not sure who it is from, but hi. I will try to answer below, including content from the original that I am addressing… —- The commenter says "One disagreement to Read more…

Peter Staudenmaier: Replying to Albert

For purposes of exploration and debate with Parecon’s Michael Albert. See whole debate here.   Hi again Michael, I think we’re getting into more detail in this thread, so I’ll try to use this rejoinder as an opportunity to explore some of the themes I’ve neglected so far and go a little deeper into those we’ve already broached. Read more…

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Michael Albert: Replying to Staudenmaier

For purposes of exploration and debate with Libertarian Municipalism’s Peter Staudenmaier. See whole debate here.   Hi, Peter. What have we embarked on–keeping up is hard to do. And I’ve even got another debate going on, with a prominent member of ISO, about Marxism. So, apologies. I should take longer with this, to make it more Read more…

Peter Staudenmaier: Rejoining Albert 1

For purposes of exploration and debate with Parecon’s Michael Albert. See whole debate here.   I’m pleased to see the degree of compatibility and overlap between the economic vision outlined by Michael Albert and the proposals for a liberated society put forward by social ecologists. Both of our theories point toward emancipatory and directly democratic alternatives to the Read more…

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Michael Albert: Rejoining Staudenmaier

  For purposes of exploration and debate with Libertarian Municipalism’s Peter Staudenmaier. See whole debate here.   Peter,   I am happy to hear many social ecologists agree with balanced job complexes. I’ll follow the debate topics you raise in the order you propose, but do so as I would write a private letter, to make Read more…

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Michael Albert: Summarizing Participatory Economics

For purposes of exploration and debate with Libertarian Municipalism’s Peter Staudenmaier. See whole debate here.   Since we have already had some exchange on Parecon and Libertarian Municipalism (see http://www.zcomm.org/znet/viewArticle/18571) I will keep these opening comments brief. The task of developing a vision for any sphere of social life is to set out the functions the Read more…

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Brian Dominick: ParEcon, Anarchy and Politics

One of the most common questions posed by anarchists looking at the parecon model concerns the existence, or nonexistence, of a state in a society with a functioning participatory economy. What is the role, if any, of government in the maintenance of a parecon system? Further, what role, if any, might a state take in Read more…

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Paul Burrows: Creating Alternative Institutions

This little ditty is written with the hopes of stimulating debate, and more importantly, action. Its language is meant to be mildly provocative in places, but not for its own sake. Criticisms, suggestions, additions, are always welcome… O.K., call me hasty, but it seems to me that there’s not a whole lot to disagree about Read more…

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Michael Albert: Assessing Libertarian Municipalism

On a recent speaking tour to Montreal (1999) a number of folks asked me my reactions to Libertarian Municipalism-a vision for politics emanating from the "School of Social Ecology." Others put it to me more specifically: How did I react to the rejection of Participatory Economics by Social Ecologists? I was unable to reply. I Read more…

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Eduardo Galeano: A Contradiction Called Uruguay

translated by Francisco Gonzalez We Uruguayans have a certain tendency to believe that our country exists, but that the world remains unaware of it. The mass media–the media that has a worldwide impact–never mentions this tiny nation lost on the Southern end of the maps. As an exception to this rule, a few months ago Read more…

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Marta Russell: Dollars And Death

Living in a neoliberal era, where the interests of business dominate government and public policy and in a climate that more and more measures one’s worth by economic efficacy, demands that we scrutinize the “right” to die beyond a liberal expansion of individual rights. We must look at the timing of these proposals. Why assisted Read more…

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Brian Dominick: Reinventing Antipoverty

On the morning of October 21, 1998, Paul Dixon’s alarm went off just before 3:00 AM. He and three housemates dragged tired bodies out of bed and made their way on bicycle from their home on the west end of downtown Toronto to a community center several blocks east The Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) Read more…

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Michael Albert: Marxism’s Anniversary, Long Live (a piece of) Marxism!

Article from New Politics Symposium: The Relevance of Marxism on the 150th Anniversary of The Communist Manifesto, Winter, 1998 Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the 150th anniversary of The Communist Manifesto is that, well, who cares? The answer is: nearly no one. More, nearly no one would care about Marx’s birthday or Lenin’s, or Read more…

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Jeremy Brecher: New Tactics for Labor-Part II

In the face of employer attack, the proportion of workers in unions fell from 27 percent in 1978 to 15 percent in 1996. Many changes contributed to declining union membership. The traditional industrial, cultural, and demographic base of the labor movement in white ethnic urban industrial communities was eroded by suburbanization and deindustrialization. Many middle-income Read more…

Laura Remson mitchell: Red Flag On The Slippery Slope

If physician-assisted suicide ever is legalized, your access to high-quality health care is likely to be significantly reduced, even though taking your own life may be the farthest thing from your mind. And if you happen to have a disability or serious chronic illness, you will be particularly at risk. That’s not just because of Read more…

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Robin Hahnel: Democratic Planners and Market Socialists

Talk given to the Political Economy Seminar Series at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. The debate between those who believe a desirable alternative to capitalism will be some kind of democratic planning and those who believe it will be some kind of market socialism is well known in some circles. My purpose here is Read more…

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Brian Dominick: Young and Oppressed: Revolution Kid Style

Introduction   The first essay in this pamphlet, "Young and Oppressed," was originally published only a year ago, though it was written more than a year previous. I have not made substantial changes to this edition, though I was tempted to do so. It stands best as is, written by a 17 year-old and a Read more…

Paul Longmore: Reasons To Oppose PAS

According to the definitions of “terminal illness” used in the model statutes proposed by right-to-die advocates and applied in several court rulings upholding that “right,” I am terminally ill, and I have been for the past forty-three years.I have a physical disability. As a result of childhood polio, my arms are paralyzed, my spine is Read more…

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Roger Bybee: Sweatshops are the Workers’ Friend

  Extra!, November/December 1996 Sweatshops Are the Workers’ Friend And Labor Activists Their Enemy—According to the New York Times By Roger Bybee If the Robin Hood story were set in today’s new global economy, would Robin be portrayed as an enemy of the poor because his activities discouraged investment in Sherwood Forest? And would the Read more…

: Gay … Pride?

Its Friday night, the beginning of "Gay Pride" weekend. My boyfriend and I have traveled from New Jersey to New York to visit some friends who are in for the weekend festivities. We can barely walk down Christopher Street with everyone outside. I’m enjoying the cool breezy evening when my boyfriend taps me on the Read more…

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Michael Albert: Back to Class

I first became politically active in 1966. By 1969—it was a fast moving time—I had a pretty well developed political perspective. For a couple of decades, along with trying to develop new media institutions and some other left projects, I had a pretty constant consciousness-raising agenda. It seemed to me (and my writing partner, Robin Read more…

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Michael Albert: Buying Dreams: Visions For A Better Future

Left activists are moved, first and foremost, by refusal to tolerate injustice. Still, a clear conception of improved social relations can help us understand injustices we oppose and visions, of more desirable futures can help sustain and orient struggles today. Well and good, but why should people activated by today’s social movements go "dream shopping" Read more…

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Michael Albert: We Can Win!

To retain control of oil prices, forestall a peace dividend, and divert attention from the abominable price of Reagan’s war on the poor, Bush threatens to unleash rivers of blood in the Mideast. Only fear of international isolation, potentially hyperbolic geopolitical losses, and spiraling domestic dissent impede all-out U.S. invasion. We cannot affect international opinion Read more…

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Michael Bronski: Gay Liberation

The following is based upon a talk given for New York City‘s Gay Liberation Front (GLF) during the week-long celebration of Stonewall 25.   The Stonewall Riots were the beginning and the defining moment for the contemporary gay and lesbian liberation movement. Although such homophile groups as Mattachine and Daughters of Bilitis existed in the Read more…

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Noam Chomsky: Conversations Between Michael Albert and Noam Chomsky Pt. 2

In January 1993 Michael Albert and Noam Chomsky recorded a series of conversations which were later distributed by Z Magazine. Here we present a transcription of some material from the 1993 tapes, essentially verbatim, in three parts. Some of the topical material is now historical, of course, but the rest is as timely as when Read more…

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Noam Chomsky: Conversations Between Michael Albert and Noam Chomsky Pt. 3

In January 1993 Michael Albert and Noam Chomsky recorded a series of conversations which were later distributed by Z Magazine. Here we present a transcription of some material from the 1993 tapes, essentially verbatim, in three parts. Some of the topical material is now historical, of course, but the rest is as timely as when Read more…

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Eduardo Galeano: To be like them

[Translated by Francisco González] Dreams and nightmares are made of the same stuff, but this particular nightmare claims to be the only dream we are allowed to have: a development model that scorns life and worships things. Can we be like them? Such is the promise of politicians, the goal of technocrats, the fantasy of Read more…

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Michael Albert: On-Going Pollitt Albert Exchange Re Media and Democracy Congress, the Nation, SEP, Z, Alternative Media, etc.

The following is a series of posts from the PollittViews Forum of ZNet. These forums are public and participatory. This exchange is between Katha Pollitt of the Nation, who “hosts” this forum, and Michael Albert of Z Magazine, who “hosts” ZNet itself. Accessing the forums, to participate in the exchanges, can be done via the Read more…

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Michael Albert: Excerpt from the introduction to Looking Forward (sep 1990)

Coordinatorism   Following the fine and sober book by the Hungarians George Konrad and Ivan Szelenyi, The Intellectuals on the Road to Class Power (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich), we can transcend the U.S. government, the Soviet government, the New York Times, and most Western Marxists to see that in the Eastern bloc workers do not and Read more…

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Ricardo Levins Morales: The Importance of Being Artist

“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is, which is to be Master,” said Humpty Dumpty, smugly explaining to Alice the power of language: He or she who controls the meaning of words — and therefore people’s understanding — wields the power of control far Read more…

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Roger Bybee: Media Celebrates Midwest Plant Closing

March/April 1989 Extra! Page/ Media Celebrate Midwest Plant Closing by Roger Bybee Imagine news correspondents hail­ing the impact of the first atomic bomb for clearing the way for Hiroshima’s future growth. That comparison, while ex­treme, conveys much of the flavor of recent mainstream news coverage of the Chrysler shutdown in Kenosha, Wiscon­sin. The closing, which Read more…

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Roger Bybee: Union, yes!

Union, yes! David Newby hopes to lead labor’s comeback Roger Bybee on Friday 01/30/2009 ‘We have to seize this moment. An opportunity like this doesn’t come along very often.’ Credit:Susan Ruggles / AFT Local 212 Related Articles: NewPage paper mill closing has left Kimberly, Wisconsin fighting for its life Article Tools: Read more Cover Story Read more…

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Tom Engelhardt: Airport to Nowhere, Waltz with Bashir, Part 2

[Part 1] A pack of ravenous dogs, a nightmare, a visit from a war-haunted friend, this was how film director Ari Folman’s period as an Israeli "grunt" in the 1982 invasion of Lebanon first returned to him. But when he began to search for his own memories of that war, what he found instead was Read more…

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Roger Bybee: Sewer Socialism Down the Drain?

News » July 10, 2009 Sewer Socialism Down the Drain? Activists in Milwaukee fight to keep their city’s water system in public hands. By Roger Bybee On June 15th, more than 200 people demonstrated at a Milwaukee City Hall rally to protest the city’s proposed plan to privatize its water system. (Photo courtesy Institute for Read more…

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John Feffer: Interviewing John Feffer

ZNet: Can you tell ZNet, please, what your new book is about? What is it trying to communicate?My new book, North Korea, South Korea: U.S. Policy at a Time of Crisis, looks at the current stand-off between the United States and North Korea over the latter’s nuclear program.  The purpose of the book is to Read more…

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Ali Abunimah: Bush’s Speech

(Chicago, 24 June 2002) — George Bush’s much-anticipated speech on how to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, weighed in at 1,867 words. By my count, more than one thousand words were devoted to criticizing and making demands of the Palestinians, while just 137 words dealt with what Israel should do. And if you look for any Read more…

Michael f. Brown: MK Avigdor Lieberman’s visit to US

Israel‘s most notorious anti-Arab politician and provocateur, Avigdor Lieberman, spoke at Brookings’ Saban Center Forum in Washington, DC this past weekend.  It will probably come as a surprise to most Americans that such a man could rise to the position of Israel‘s deputy prime minister and the minister for strategic affairs.  He is Israel’s David Read more…

Steven Mather: A Tale of Two of Campaigns: The Venezuelan Elections with only Ten Days to Go

There are only ten days to go before the presidential elections in Venezuela and the campaign is heating up – well, it is mildly increasing in temperature anyway.  On the streets of Caracas election propaganda displaying pictures of the two leading contenders is attached to almost every lamp post and telegraph pole, walls are covered Read more…

Scott Campbell: Repression escalates: Reporter Pedro Matías kidnapped and tortured in Oaxaca

Pedro Matías, a well-known reporter who writes for Noticias, a local daily paper, as well as the national weekly Proceso, was kidnapped, beaten, tortured and robbed on Saturday night in Oaxaca. Reporters Without Borders states that, Matías was kidnapped as he left the newspaper to go home on the evening of 25 October. His abductors beat Read more…

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